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Pharma firms urged to refuse US capital punishment drug

The Local · 24 Jan 2011, 10:21

Published: 24 Jan 2011 10:21 GMT+01:00

The barbiturate anaesthetic sodium thiopental is used in – among other things – the cocktail of drugs given to inmates sentenced to death. The US will soon stop manufacturing the agent, meaning it will be forced to buy its sodium thiopental from other countries.

Rösler has called on the pharmaceutical industry not to supply drugs that include sodium thiopental – also known under the trade name Sodium Pentothal – to the US.

On Monday he received the support of the German Medical Association (BÄK).

“The German pharmaceutical industry can demonstrate that they trade ethically, if they join in here,” Frank Ulrich Montgomery, BÄK vice president, told the Passauer Neue Presse.

Daily Süddeutsche Zeitung recently reported that Rösler wrote to the drug industry asking them to ignore requests from the United States for supplies of the barbiturate.

“As far as your firm markets medical products containing sodium thiopental, I would like to ask you urgently not to meet such requests for supply,” Rösler wrote.

Montgomery described Rösler’s initiative as “a great idea.”

Sodium thiopental is included in drug mixture used in 35 US states in lethal injections to execute prisoners.

Story continues below…

Sodium thiopental also has more mainstream uses as a general anaesthetic.

The American Medical Association has also decided not to co-operate with death sentence punishments.

DPA/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:28 January 24, 2011 by Paranoid_Android
It¦#39;s about time we embrace a world without capital punishment…
16:07 January 24, 2011 by Joshontour
So, when are you going to demand that Heckler & Koch stop manufacturing and selling arms?
16:16 January 24, 2011 by marimay
Pharmaceutical companies make drugs that kill people every day. Why should they care now? lol
18:30 January 24, 2011 by William Thirteen
if you've never been on Sodium Pentothal, it's quite a trip. Ask your doctor for a dose before the Americans buy it all up.
22:07 January 24, 2011 by Frenemy
We used to use that sh!t as "truth serum" (you know, back in the day before water-boarding, barney theme song, and 24/7 strobe lights were in vogue).

If you didn't get actionable intel at least you got one hell of a trippy story from the prisoner...
23:11 January 24, 2011 by tosca1
I wonder if those opposed would be willing to kick in a few bucks of their hard earned income to support those who would have otherwise been.. well.. putting that chair to use.
23:23 January 24, 2011 by Beachrider
Thiopental Sodium was manufactured by an American Drug company (Abbott Labs subsidiary Hospira) in a German factory for years. The German government is interceding to see that it is no longer manufactured in Germany.

Let it be said, let it be done.

I hope that Germany feels better and finds work for the displaced workers.

Abbott Labs needs to be sure that more business isn't similarly affected.

We all play it the next shot from where the last shot stopped rolling (golf).
01:10 January 25, 2011 by fryintl
The bottom line here is basically: Pro or Con to the death penalty. I am pro. Why keep soemone in jail who took another's life. The dead victim is gone and can no longer breath. The Criminal lives on, and enjoys life. In Germany they even get out pretty easily. In the old days, everywhere, people were put to death adn it was rare to have people murdered. Now, teh criminals have more rights than the victims, more protections, and certainly better quality of life.

People are so worried about torturing animals, protecting them from being eaten, but a human life and taking of one has not as much as many give a common Dog. What happened? keep being soft on crime, and see what you will be living with when the lights go out and the sun goes down. What is the actual cost to society of keeping those very few deserving of death, alive, healthy and well in Prison? How many people need an operation that work hard and pay taxes, yet there are those living in the prison systems around teh world getting so much better medical care, even living better and feeding well, while others starve on the streets of Germany cities. Now take away jobs, and you put more people in dire straights.

Is it right?
04:41 January 25, 2011 by Prufrock2010
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:08 January 25, 2011 by Louis Prince
I agree, people should wake up, death penalty is their to put fear in those who wish to commit a crime, to prevent murder from occurring, in many countries people prefer prison above being free. The Germans are in danger of putting humanism ahead of humans. So I fully agree fryintI.
10:39 January 25, 2011 by catjones
Next week the story will be how DL pharma 'offered' the drug for 'market research'.
11:17 January 25, 2011 by Frenemy
^^^ lol. Prufrock, I can't imagine what you could've said to pi$$-off the overlords enough to delete your post! Must have been something good, too bad I missed it. Care to rephrase? ;-)
12:17 January 25, 2011 by auniquecorn
Why in the H&ll do they gotta buy these drugs anyway? In Texas they can just go to the local Walmart and buy a box of shells for almost nothing. and save millions of dollars.

Bubba said day work jus is good.
18:42 January 25, 2011 by Beachrider
Hmmm. I didn't really foresee the direction this has taken as regards 'the sanctity of life, in general'...

- Alternatives to this drug exist. They are reliably made in the USA. More work for them.

- I would have expected the 'sanctity of life, in general' to have stayed at the human-level. Birth-control chemicals, Abortion chemicals, Stem-cell chemicals and more are polemics amount Americans. I really couldn't predict their support with the German population. If there are differences in value judgements, should one of those populations find it OK to terminate-production to meet local standards?
21:11 January 25, 2011 by Prufrock2010
@ Frenemy

It was quite innocuous, actually, and certainly nothing to warrant being censored. I merely referred to the gentleman who posted the prior comment as something akin to an instrument used by carpenters and mechanics, a four-letter word commonly used in today's vernacular, rhyming with "fool." And a quick read of his post will confirm that my description was accurate.
23:42 January 25, 2011 by wenddiver
Deny them by all means, because God knows we could never figure out how to tie a knot in a noose again or plug in a chair. The tendency to vastly underestimate the average American has obviously not changed, since 1917.
01:31 January 26, 2011 by Prufrock2010
I take it that you've never heard of the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution...?
20:32 January 26, 2011 by Frenemy
Huh? 8th amendment?!

Awww damn it!! And I was just about to petition the courts to approve the "colombian necktie" pilot program in the lower 48...
20:46 January 26, 2011 by Prufrock2010
Given the current configuration of the federal courts, your petition would probably be granted.
10:07 June 25, 2011 by Paiyha
The capital punishment is a questionable issue in the United States, one of the few primary countries that make use of the capital punishment. Regardless of the argument over whether the capital punishment should be used or not, states that make use of the capital punishment have to pay a lot for it. Here is the proof: Taxpayers foot hefty bill to have the death penalty
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